James W. Berger, 88, formerly of Pullman, died Oct. 6, 2017, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian, Idaho.
Berger worked for WSU Pullman from December 1973 to March 1993. At the time of his retirement, he was a staff member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Berger was born in Pullman on Jan. 28, 1929, the only child of Paul and Lois Berger. He grew up in Pullman and attended Pullman High School and Washington State University. After a stint in the army, he and his dad operated an auto repair shop in Pullman.
He married Ardella (Jacobson) Hall on Dec. 17, 1966. Although Jim never had children of his own, he became “dad” to Ardella’s son, Steve, and her daughter, Lesta. Jim and Steve operated the Union Oil service station / auto repair in Pullman for several years before Jim went on to work at WSU in the physics department, setting up lab experiments for professors and grad students. After he and Ardella retired from WSU, they moved to Idaho.
Jim had an infectious laugh. He always wanted to ensure that everyone was having a good time. Even though he never learned to swim, he spent countless hours at the lake giving boat rides and pulling kids on water skis or tubing.
Jim loved to study maps and then identify landmarks and mountains. And go on drives, whether in familiar country or on a new adventure.
He greatly enjoyed his hunting trips with “the boys” and was a diehard fan of the WSU Cougars. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Ardella, in 2015, and by grandson, Michael, in 2006.
He is survived by Steve (and Pat) Hall; and their daughters Michelle (and Alex) Axtell, and Sherri (and Brett) Jimenez. And by Lesta Hall; and her sons Greg (and Adrianna) Posey; and Philip (and Libby) Posey; and by her daughter Lori English. As well as numerous great grandchildren.